CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-based SIM announced on Thursday that the second American doctor to contract the Ebola virus while serving as a missionary in Liberia is headed back to the United States.
Missionary Doctor Rick Sacra is headed to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and is expected to arrive at the hospital's Biocontainment Patient Care Unit on Friday morning.
Sacra is the second doctor and third American to contract the Ebola virus while working as a missionary at SIM's ELWA hospital in Monrovia.
In a statement released late Thursday afternoon, SIM said:
SIM's global family from over 50 countries is extremely grateful for the generous cooperation of many agencies and organizations in the U.S. and in Liberia which made it possible for Rick to be brought to Omaha. It took an exceptional effort across many organizations to make this happen. We particularly thank the U.S. Department of State and its many agencies and The Nebraska Medical Center.
Unlike Samaritan's Purse's Doctor Kent Brantly, Dr. Sacra was not working in the Ebola isolation unit, but rather was treating obstetrics patients at the ELWA hospital in Monrovia, Liberia.
SIM USA's president said in a press conference Wednesday that Sacra immediately isolated himself upon onset of the symptoms, was transported to the Ebola isolation unit.
Sacra is said to be doing well and is in good spirits. It's not yet clear how the doctor contracted the virus.
"My heart was deeply saddened, but my faith was not shaken, when I learned another of our missionary doctors contracted Ebola," said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA. "As a global mission, we are surrounding our missionary with prayer, as well as our Liberian SIM/ELWA colleagues, who continue fighting the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. We have gifted Liberian doctors, medical staff and support staff who are carrying on the fight."
Dr. Kent Brantly and Charlottean Nancy Writebol, a SIM missionary, both contracted the Ebola virus while serving in Monrovia. Both Brantly and Writebol were transported back to the states, one-by-one, specifically to Atlanta's Emory Hospital, for treatment.
But before leaving Liberia, Dr. Brantly selflessly asked that a single dose of an experimental serum be given to Writebol.
Brantly and Writebol have both since been discharged from the isolation facility at Emory, and officials say they pose no threat to the public.
SIM: American doctor tests positive for Ebola WCNC